Hello friends; Welcome! As you may have noticed, I have made a clean sweep of my blog and have decided to start anew. When my friend Jenni from Mamahh.com asked me to be a part of the Brilliant Mama Blog Tour with the theme of “Mama Love”, I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to begin the blog again. I’ve had a lot on my emotional plate for a while now, and this will be a short post. However, I mean every single word and urge you to take it to heart.
There are so many wonderful contributions to the tour so far- check out Jeannie Johnson Casey’s post from yesterday – 16 Big Questions to Personalize your Birth, Make your Heart Sing, and Kick your Mothering Instincts into High gear. There are so many things to think about when you’re planning your birth experience, and Jeannie brings up several great things to consider. I love how she says to “Let go of thinking what is the RIGHT choice and just let your mind be open.”
I can’t wait to read Tracy Good’s thoughts tomorrow HERE.
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This is a photo of my mom holding me after a bath, taken sometime in early 1976. There’s nothing really remarkable about it, it’s just a time-faded snaphot using too much flash and it’s not very well composed. It is also one of my most treasured possessions. I lost my mom to cancer last month. It still hasn’t really sunk in that I will never again be able to call her up and ask her a question about a recipe, to visit and watch her beautiful relationship with my children, to sit and reminisce or chat about problems with her. This photo is one of only a handful of photos I have of her- it’s even more rare in that it’s just us, together. My mom, like myself, and like so many women I know (and have photographed) absolutely hated being in front of the camera. She would look at photos of herself and see only flaws. I look at this photo and see only love.
Many mamas are hesitant about getting in front of my camera, and I always tell them the same thing: The photographs I take aren’t for you; they are for your children. This is true not only of professional photos, but every single snapshot or cell phone image that includes you with your children. While you may see more weight than you’d like, a face with no makeup or wrinkles, unwashed hair or the dirty dishes in the background, your children will one day only marvel at how young you once were, at the sweet memories the photo brings back, and will have a tangible, visual reminder of the beautiful face that looked at them with so much love.
These are words I need to say to myself as well. As a photographer I know better, but it’s just too easy to make excuses. Losing my mom has reminded me, and made it oh-so-clear that there is no time for excuses. What I wouldn’t give for more photos of her and I together through the years. Of course I can’t go back in time. I also can’t go back and take more photos with my own children as newborns, babies, and toddlers. But I CAN do better today, and tomorrow. I can be more aware of the message that I am sending them by choosing to be in the picture or not. I don’t want my daughter or son to think that there would EVER be a physical trait that would make them unworthy of being photographed. I am everywhere in their lives, and while they will hopefully retain the memories of our lunches together at school, of playing silly games, building forts, taking spontaneous trips to the zoo and library, reading bedtime stories and singing lullabies… a photograph makes those memories so much more tangible. They are a visual legacy of love for your children.
Mamas, let’s put aside our hesitation and GET IN THE PICTURE. Your children will thank you for it one day.
Thank you for reading! I hope you’ll visit the blog again soon or sign up for my newsletter to stay in touch.